The Rinaldi Racing team had mixed emotions following the 2017 24 Hours of Spa after seeing their #333 Ferrari 488 GT3 exit the race after just four hours, there was however reason to celebrate when the #488 car reached the second step of the ProAm podium.
Heading in to the weekend the driving duties for the #333 car were handed to Alexander Mattschull, Rinat Salikhov, Matteo Malucelli, and Norbert Siedler, whilst the #488 car saw Pierre Ehret, Rino Mastronardi, Patrick Van Glabeke, and Gabriele Lancieri pilot the 488 GT3.
After a mixed qualifying and night qualifying the #333 car finished in seventh place in class while the #488 car managed to grab third place in class.
Siedler took control of the #333 car with Mastronardi taking the start for the #488 car. Siedler made immediate progress as he jumped to fifth in class while Mastronardi chased down second place.
Four hours in to the race and Rinat Salikhov radioed back to the pitlane with bad news, the car had stopped out on circuit and was unable to move, putting the Ferrari out of the race.
The #488 car battled on, through the rain and challenging weather conditions and managed avoid drama in the morning when Van Glabeke radioed in tyre damage. Thankfully for the team the 488 GT3 came back to the pitlane in one piece and a quick tyre change later were on their way once again.
With fresh rubber, Mastrononardi got the #488 back on track and managed to get the Ferrari back up to second place, a position he would cling to until the end of the 24 hours, crossing the line twenty fifth overall.
“A great result for the #488!” exlaimed Michele Rinaldi after the race. “All drivers showed a constant performance and Rino did an awesome job in the last hour.
“It is a shame that we lost the #333 so early in the race; I am sure we could have reached more.
“Thank you to the whole team – the mechanics did a great job and faultless pit stops during the 24 hours. Also a big thank you to all drivers, without them we could not have raced in this event.“